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L. Neil Smith's
Number 801, December 14, 2014

Every culture that discourages or discounts
gun ownership is a culture where women are
trained to be sacrificed to violent men.

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The Forever War
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Unless you just woke from a long coma then you probably know that Iraq is being taken over by Isis a terrorist group so extreme that even Al-Qaida stays clear of them. What I find the most interesting about this current fiasco are the reactions of those on the right and the left.

The right has been throwing non-stop conniption fits about Obama's supposed inaction and how he withdrew the troops way too early. Then we have the left who like to pretend that we aren't at war while bombing the living hell out of both Iraq and Syria.

I will start with the right. As much as I hate to repeat that annoying cliché that Obama supporters often like to use whenever they try to divert blame from "The Anointed One", this one has to fall square on George W. Bush. Not that Obama has been improving the situation, but Bush was the one who got us into this mess in the first place. He was the one who ordered the unnecessary invasion of Iraq, which left the country destabilized.

As for the part about Obama not keeping troops in Iraq long enough, what would have been the appropriate time to pull them out? Another year? Another decade? Another century, perhaps? They can never give us an exact withdraw time, just like the Keynesians who tell us that the economy is in the toilet because the government doesn't spend enough. Though they can never tell us what the exact number of "enough" would be. It's the same for government school advocates who tell us that we don't spend enough on education, but can never give us a ball park estimate of what number would qualify as "enough."

I think it is also worth bringing up that Obama had actually kept troops in Iraq longer than Bush intended. At one point he even supplied Afghanistan with more troops. It's interesting how I don't see that come up in any of the talking head shows on Fox News.

Yeah, laugh it up Democrats. Before you pick up your stones and hurl them at your Republican opponents, you need to be reminded that you guys aren't without sin on this issue. When Bush first proposed attacking Iraq, it wasn't just the Republicans who were on board. Yes, I am looking at you Hillary Clinton. Then you have your Noble Peace Prize winning president who has bombed seven countries and has used drones to kill several terror suspects and some innocent civilians along the way.

What's worse is that your president is following the same foreign policy mistakes as every president before him. One of them is the classic "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" ploy. That worked so well in the Reagan administration. Remember when Saddam Hussein was our friend, when they were enemies of Iran? Better yet, remember when our government aided a small band of freedom fighters in Afghanistan against our Soviet foes. What ever happened to that? That's right, 9-11 happened. Now, Obama's idea of fighting Isis is to arm Syrian rebels and to make nice with Iran, a country until five minutes ago was one of our mortal enemies.

At the same time, the Obama administration wants to pretend that we are not at war, while bombing Isis from a far. I guess as long as we don't have boots on the ground, then it must not be a war. I guess Obama is following the same logic as one of his processors, who had once said that oral sex wasn't really sex. Of course Obama is making exceptions to the boots on the ground policy, with the advisers that he is sending in to train Iraqi troops. A strategy that worked so well in Vietnam.

As hard as I am on our presidents (both past and current), I have to admit that we are in a damned if we do or damned if we don't situation. If we choose to go to war with Isis then we will find ourselves in another long drawn out war where we will end up wasting more tax dollars and human lives. Just how long should we allow troops to stay in the region? If you go by what John McCain says, we should keep them there for a century if need be. If we choose not to fight Isis, then the people of Iraq will have to submit to a tyranny that will make Saddam's reign seem like a pleasure cruise.

The people I feel for the most are the veterans. I can only imagine how they feel about watching a country that many of them have lost limbs and their sanity trying to liberate dissolve into total chaos. They are probably thinking to themselves "just what the hell were we fighting for?" They are probably feeling the same way as the Vietnam vets felt when they watched Saigon fall in 1975.

As bad as it is, the only thing that we can do at this point is to cut our losses and not to put any more Americans in harm's way in another drawn out war. Let it go. Some may think I am referencing the popular Disney movie, when I am actually referring to what Sylvester Stallone said to Brian Dennehy in First Blood. I just hope our government isn't as pigheaded as the Dennehy character in First Blood,—though I wouldn't count on it. As I have said before, our government has one hell of a learning disability.

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